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protests throughout the muslim world today after friday prayers came to an end. in egypt, crowds in cairo and alexandria waved palestinian flags and chanted anti-israeli slogans. thousands of people also turned out in yemen to denounce the israeli offensive. and in turkey, a one-time israeli ally, people in istanbul called for the death of the jewish state. >> brown: and for more on the conflict, we are joined by hisham melham, washington bureau chief for al- arabiya; and dan schueftan is director of national security studies center at the university of haifa. gentlemen, one thing i think a lot of people, myself included are wondering how did this flare-up seemingly so quickly. dan schueftan. >> well, since hamas took over we had for a while a thousand rockets per year, then came israeli escalation and-- and it went down to a small number of rockets every year, last year again we came to about a thousand rockets against israel. and this intensified in recent weeks to the point where israel had to take action. israel was saying for about two weeks, i mean people here were dealing with the
when there will be a need. >> suarez: with today's escalation, egypt pressed for an end to the israeli air strikes. today, palestinian president mahmoud abbas asked the arab league to call an urgent meeting to discuss the strikes, and united nations chief ban ki-moon called for a "de-escalation of tensions." >> suarez: for more, i'm joined by phone with sheera frenkel, middle east correspondent for the "times of london" in jerusalem. sheera, we reported on the rising tensions between the israelis and the palestinians in gaza. but was there something in particular that set this off? >> in the last three or four hours that there have been a slowdown in hostilities between israel and the gaza strip. in fact, earlier in today there had been no exchanges of violence across the border. but when i spoke to officials about why they decided to start targeted assassinations and launch the operation in gaza, their answer was actually intelligence data they had received that militants in gaza had been smuggling in more high tech weapons and that it would really create damage to the military arsena
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